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Little Movement Predicted For Malaysia Shares

Ahead of Monday's holiday for Agong's birthday, the Malaysia stock market had bounced higher again - one session after snapping the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 20 points or 1.3 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,605-point plateau and it's likely to remain in that neighborhood on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly rudderless, with trade uncertainties offset by rising crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed but little changed and the Asian bourses are likely to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the industrials and mixed performances from the financials and plantations.

For the day, the index picked up 4.72 points or 0.30 percent to finish at 1,604.47 after trading between 1,599.58 and 1,606.40. Volume was 1.66 billion shares worth 1.43 billion ringgit. There were 410 gainers and 336 decliners.

Among the actives, MISC surged 3.47 percent, while Axiata soared 2.31 percent, Petronas Chemicals spiked 1.74 percent, Genting Malaysia jumped 1.60 percent, AMMB Holdings accelerated 1.46 percent, Sime Darby climbed 1.32 percent, Sime Darby Plantations advanced 1.04 percent, CIMB Group skidded 0.79 percent, IHH Healthcare added 0.69 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong dropped 0.34 percent, IOI Group shed 0.23 percent, Press Metal, Digi.com and Public Bank all lost 0.20 percent, Tenaga Nasional gained 0.14 percent, Maybank rose 0.11 percent and Genting, Dialog Group, Top Glove, Hap Seng and RHB capital all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Monday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed.

The Dow added 38.05 points or 0.14 percent to 26,835.51, while the NASDAQ lost 15.64 points or 0.19 percent to 8,087.44 and the S&P 500 fell 0.28 points or 0.01 percent to 2,978.43.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid a light day on the U.S. economic front, with a lack of major data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Traders expressed some optimism about further stimulus from global central banks, with the European Central Bank expected to cut interest rates on Thursday. Expectations for another interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week were also bolstered by last Friday's weaker than expected jobs data.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday, riding comments from Saudi Arabia that it would continue to support output cuts by OPEC and other producers. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up $1.33 or 2.4 percent at $57.85 a barrel.

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